Sep 27, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog 2013 - 2014 
Undergraduate Catalog 2013 - 2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, B.A.


Minimum hours required for the major: 40, at least 32 of which must be upper-level (300- or 400-level)

Minimum hours required for the minor: 24, at least 16 of which must be upper-level

Student Honor Society: Phi Alpha Theta

Awards: Thomas F. Campbell Scholarship; Leon Soulé Scholarship; Social Studies Scholarship; William I. Shorrock Scholarship; Jeanette E. Tuve Scholarship; Modern European History Prize; Distinguished Graduate Student; Distinguished Baccalaureate Award.

Admission to the Major:

After admission to the university, a student obtains a “Declaration of Major” packet from the History Department in RT 1319 that explains the advising procedures and asks the student for a writing sample and answers to a few questions. Once this information has been gathered, the student phones the History Department (687-3920) for an initial advising appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Director will evaluate transfer credits for the major and give the student a copy of the filled out check-sheet. Following this advising session, students will receive a letter with the name of their individual faculty advisor in the department.

Advising: Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. José Solá 216-523-7189; Individual faculty advisers; Internet Web page, Students are urged to meet with their assigned faculty advisor at least once every semester.

For Information: Call the Chair or the History Department, 216-687-3920.

The Program

History is the essential foundation of knowledge. It provides the context for a liberal education, the tools to understand ourselves and our contemporary world, and the skills for an educated person to live a more fulfilled and gratifying life in a wide range of careers. Because of these various functions, we study history for many reasons:

  • to better understand our society and the times in which we live
  • to better understand ourselves
  • to place our own society in historical perspective
  • to balance present-mindedness with historical memory
  • to acquire skills such as conducting research, communicating effectively through writing or oral communication, critical thinking, evaluating evidence, and problem-solving
  • to understand the roles which individuals and groups have played in shaping their worlds
  • for the enjoyment of examining societies very different or very similar to our own

This is possible because history at the university level is far more than a collection of facts, names, and dates. The emphasis is on accessing and analyzing information, the critical use of historical sources, learning to communicate the results, and the excitement which comes from exploring important ideas. To study history is to enter a time machine to explore the far reaches of the human experience — from classical times to the present; from the lives of great thinkers and kings to that of average people; from dramatic moments such as the Civil War to the routine. The past becomes the universe, all corners of which can be explored.

The department offers course work in European, U.S., African, Latin-American, Middle Eastern, and East Asian history and thematic foci on social and urban history and the history of the African Diaspora. The major program not only prepares students for teaching and for graduate study in history but many students have found history an appropriate preparatory foundation for careers in law, library science, international work, the foreign service, the ministry, business, government and archival and museum work.

History can be of inestimable value to non-majors. This can be done through the minor, the certificate programs, or by taking appropriate courses. Considering a career in International Relations or Business? Use history courses to deepen your understanding of foreign countries. Majoring in a foreign language? Take courses in history to broaden your appreciation of that culture.



A minimum total number of 128 credit hours are required for every student in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. All degree seeking, CLASS students must complete a specific number of General Education (GenEd) requirements which are comprised of University and College requirements.  This is in addition to the credits for their major field of study. Students are responsible for ensuring the appropriate selection of courses to satisfy GenEd requirements. Students are highly encouraged to consult with both their general education advisor and faculty advisor regarding the applicability of selected courses each semester. A comprehensive description of Cleveland State University’s General Education Requirements for undergraduate students is available online at

Major-Field Requirements

Credit hours:

at least 40; at least 32 of which must be upper-level (300- or 400-level)

Survey requirement:

Geographical diversity:

Students are required to divide their 32 upper-level credits among at least four of the following six geographical areas.

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Latin America/Caribbean
  • Asia/Pacific world
  • Africa
  • Middle East

Chronological diversity:

At least two of the student’s upper-level credits (8 credit hours) must be in courses dealing with the pre-modern (before nineteenth century) period. These courses may also be used to fulfill the geographical distribution requirement.

Capstone requirement:

Upon reaching at least 24 credit hours in History, students are required to take one capstone research seminar. This course may be either HIS 400: Local History Seminar or HIS 401: Research Seminar (topics to vary by instructor). This course may be used to satisfy the geographical distribution or pre-modern requirement if appropriate (see above).

No course with a grade below C may be counted toward the History major.

Thematic concentration:

As a means of fulfilling the requirements for the major, students are encouraged to consult with their adviser about the possibility of developing a thematic focus (e.g., African Diaspora, Atlantic world).

Transfer students:

Transfer students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in history courses taken in the Department of History at CSU in order to major in History.